State legislations awaiting Centre's nod for last 2 years
This budget session in March, as legislators sit down to debate and clear new laws, it may take some time before any important legislation for the state gets enacted. Reason: in the last two years, at least 10 state legislations that are linked to central laws have been pending for approval from the Central government and an assent from the President.
Though the Centre's amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act got cleared last week, other legislations - including the much-debated law for regulation of fees in educational institutes, which was passed in August - is yet to get enacted.
The law allows educational institutes to hike fees only once in two years and makes it mandatory to discuss the hike with the Parent Teachers Associations, among other clauses.
But, given the delays, it is likely that the next academic year would also pass without schools having any check on fee hikes.
The Maharashtra Money-Lending (Regulation) Act that envisaged penalty for rogue moneylenders and putting a cap on rate of interest to protect farmers is awaiting approval from the Centre since 2010.
The law was introduced in the backdrop of farmer suicides in Vidarbha and called for a penalty of Rs50,000 and five-year imprisonment for illegal money lending.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has asked the state MPs to aggressively pursue these pending legislations. However, MPs argue that there is little that they can do to ensure speedy clearances.
"I don't see how we can follow up on these laws with the Centre. If the state government is serious, it should set up a separate desk and get a designated officer to pursue these laws," said Congress legislator Sanjay Nirupam.
A senior official, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said: "It requires aggressive follow up as many of these laws, require a go-ahead from various central ministries. After that, the home ministry sends it for Presidential assent. It is tedious as well as time consuming.''
Other legislations awaiting clearance include amendment to the municipal corporations and councils act which can curb illegal constructions and slums act which can make way for a grievance redressal committee for slum dwellers.